These last two years have presented the greatest challenge our fitness industry has ever experienced.
It’s not just been in keeping our businesses up and running, including taking care of members and keeping them engaged, it’s also been about retaining staff – many of whom are not just leaving our businesses, they’re leaving the industry.
We’re finding more and more fitness professionals looking for greater job security, something that, during repeated lockdowns, is almost non-existent in the fitness industry.
So how do we fix our staffing issues?
We whip up an advert and post it on SEEK and you sit back and watch all of the applications roll in and you think to yourself how am I going to get through all of these CVs right?
Unfortunately, that is a big fat NO!
Gone are the times where our biggest concern is ‘how am I going to get through all of these CVs and organise interviews and work out who is going to be the best hire?’
Our industry has had over a 70 per cent decrease in applications compared to 2019 and in some regions of the country, it’s a lot worse than that!
Here are four points that need to be used in one complete talent acquisition strategy.
You are probably thinking, ‘hang on you just said that this option doesn’t work, yet you’re saying we should advertise?’
Advertising does work when done correctly. Specifically, we need to stop ‘advertising’ our available roles and shift to ‘marketing’ the role.
We need to think of the recruitment process as a ‘sales’ one. We need to market and sell both our businesses and our available roles to future employees. It’s all about making candidates feel safe and engaged and eager to come and work for you.
An effective job ad contains these five key elements:
A brief overview of the business and your facility – don’t just focus on the equipment, include your values and beliefs and, specifically, show why it’s a great place to work.
The benefits of working for YOU – for example, training and development, what the culture is like, and career progression. This is where you’ll really sell/market your opportunity.
Details of what the role entails – write this part as if the reader can see themselves doing the role.
Required qualifications – less is more. Remember, hire for attitude and train for skill.
Description of the recruitment process – let them know what to expect.
I’m a big believer in ‘controlling the controllables’.
In the current market, headhunting is the most successful recruitment strategy employers can use. Rather than waiting for people to apply for the role, employers are in control of who they speak to.
When you are selling your memberships your team is out there calling prospects and selling the facility to get them to sign up. We need to take the same approach when recruiting/headhunting.
Search for skills or qualifications or behaviours that you want and contact those people. If you’re on HealthyPeople, don’t worry about how long it’s been since they were last active.
The best people in the market are the people who are not actively applying for roles and the ones who sometimes just need a tap on the shoulder.
If a candidate is not available right now, but you like them, make sure you ‘pool’ them correctly and stay in touch with them. Keep them warm so they remember you when they’re ready.
If you find people who you think are great, find a role for them. If you want a great team, think about the person first, and the position second
Target people who work for companies where you’ve had great people come from in the past
Where to search for these candidates?
A Business Membership with HealthyPeople is an obvious choice. Other options include LinkedIn and SEEK Talent.
Being the hiring manager means you’re most likely to have been in the industry long enough to be connected with fitness professionals and 1000s of members across your facilities.
Sometimes we forget to reach out to people we know to see if they are looking for new opportunities or to see if they have referrals.
Access your own personal network – for example, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn.
Implement staff referral campaigns – happy staff refer people they like and want to work with.
Target your members – if your members have been enjoying your facilities and loving the vibe of your club, they may make great employees.
You just never know who might see your post or one that has been shared within your network. It’s a very cost-effective way to find that next superstar employee.
We all fall into the trap of only recruiting when we have a need. Too often, we’re blindsided when someone hands in their notice and find ourselves ‘panic-recruiting’ to replace them.
We always need to be recruiting (using all three strategies above).
Talent pooling is key. Make detailed notes, keep them engaged and keep them warm.
Have a business card on you at all times, as you may come across someone you meet and think ‘wow, they would make a great employee’.
I hope this provides some insight to help you build your superstar team and smash your business targets. If you need any help with the above please reach out as I’m here to help.